The pope has some advice for confessors: learn how to listen

The pope has some advice for confessors: learn how to listen March 9, 2018

From Vatican News:

Pope Francis on Friday told confessors that they have a special responsibility to help young people discern their vocations in life.

Photo by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Pope was talking to participants in an annual course on the Internal Forum organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary. This year, ahead of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the course is focused on the relationship between the Sacrament of Confession and discernment of vocations.

Pope Francis told the young confessors they must understand their role as instruments of God’s mercy and never seek to become “masters of people’s consciences”. Remembering they are only instruments of Reconciliation, he said, is not to diminish their ministry, but rather to assume a humble attitude of listening to the Spirit so that Christ can be seen clearly as our great high priest.

Secondly, he told the young men they must learn how to listen to the questions before they try to give any answers. The confessor, he said, is called to be a listener, both to the penitent and to the Holy Spirit, through whom we hear the Word of God. By listening obediently to the Spirit, he said, we can put young people in contact with Jesus himself.

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